Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Robison, Kristopher

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


The far-right, pro-Trump conspiracy movement QAnon has gained popularity in recent years for their outlandish conspiratorial claims and has even been implicated in motivating some participants in the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol as well as violent extremist events. The current state of research into conspiracy theories is lacking, especially within the field of sociology, where the social dimensions of conspiracy theories are poorly understood. This research contributes to the literature on conspiracy theories by addressing gaps in the literature through an analysis of internet searches related to QAnon, using geo-coded Google searches for QAnon related terms as a proxy for QAnon support. As prior research suggests that there is a relationship between support for conspiracy theories and the perception of strain or crisis, I propose that QAnon support can be examined by testing hypotheses connecting social strain and identity to QAnon Google searches at the US county level. This study suggests that QAnon support is most prevalent in homogenous, white, conservative communities, especially those that have recently experienced a recent change in minority populations. I conclude with insights into the sociological correlates that predict QAnon support, as well as a discussion of the implications of these findings


56 pages




Northern Illinois University

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